Reluctant to leave the nestbox

Nestbox bedding

No matter how much bedding is put in the box the hen chucks most of it out. It’s making me think it a natural instinct. When the next two chicks are rung l will try to add some more bedding material. Diatomaceous earth is added which is great for preventing red mite or other bugs. Being a natural product it is not harmful to the birds in anyway.


First Pair Selected

Breeding time is always the highlight of the year for me and when the chicks feather up you are sometimes in for a suprise or two. Unexpected arrivals such as the hen which l have used in my first pairing of 2017 season. .

Normal Light Green Cock  +  Yellow Face Albino Hen

Light Green Cock

Bred at Trafalgar in 2015 from what l consider my best line. Both of his brothers are visually better looking. One of his brother has just produced some nice late bred birds. No the best example of a light green but it is hoped the offspring have the qualities of others from this line. Beginners often make the mistake of spending big money on great looking birds. The cock may not be a show winner but the offspring maybe useful later in the year to develope the line.

Yellow Face Albino

Bred from from a pair of Lutino’s the YF Albino hen is a good size bird with all six eggs from the first round are fertile.

Four eggs have been left in the box and have hatched, eggs five and six were tranferred to a foster pair. Two eggs from the foster pairs replaced the transferred eggs.

The YF hen will not leave the box so when l take out the inner box. we now seem have a mutual understanding as the first two chicks have been rung without me being savaged its all good.

I was hoping to breed some ino’s from this pair but the first five chicks are all normal. If you are new to the hobby look at the chicks in the nestbox on the left and you will see the chicks have dark eyes.

Update 14/11/2016

All six eggs have hatched now from the first pair, the four chicks with the YF hen are growing nicely. The foster pair have now hatched the transferred eggs.

Transferring eggs or chicks

Is it better to transfer eggs or chicks to the foster parents.?

Full eggs on occasion that have been transferred fail to hatch. Learning from the past any nest with more than four eggs the last eggs laid tended to get heavily soiled and then go addled. Waiting for the eggs to hatch then transferring the newly born seems to work. If a new born is not fed within twelve hours death will be inevitable.  Chicks transferred would be given to a trusted hen and once the newborn has been fed. The chick is then transferred back to original hen. This method has proved very successful with maiden hens that seem to reluctant to feed newly born chicks.

With limited breeding cages l tend only to have one forster pair during the breeding season but l will make use of pairs that produce clear rounds. Then l tend to move chicks rather than eggs and both methods have been successful. Everthing depends on what is available at the time.

Update 30/11/2016

All six first round eggs hatched unfortunately the last chick died after about eight days. I had noticed their appeared to be a problem with the neck, the chick seemed to have not to have developed enough neck muscles. The chick struggled to lift it’s head which eventually led to feeding problems and the chicks death.

The five remaining chicks are doing well with an surprising mixture of colours. We have a yellow face colbolt, two light greens, one dark green and a normal mauve.